Testimonials and Notable Alumni

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NOTABLE ALUMNI

The Honourable Madam Justice L.A. Duval

The Honourable Mr. Justice M. Kaufman

The Honourable Mr. Justice J.M. Scurfield

The Honourable Mr. Justice B. Midwinter

The Honourable Judge S.V. Devine

The Honourable Judge J.A. Elliott

The Honourable Judge B.D. Giesbrecht

The Honourable Judge R.J. Meyers

The Honourable Judge H.R. Pullan

The Honourable Judge R. Thompson

The Honourable Judge F. Sandhu

The Honourable Judge T. Preston

The Honourable Judge J. Combs

The Honourable Judge M. Thompson

The Honourable Judge C. Roller

The Honourable Judge P. Umpherville

The Honourable Judge H.L. Allen

The Honourable Judge R. Heinrichs

The Honourable Judge M. McDonald

Allan Fineblit, Q.C., CEO Law Society of Manitoba

Neil Cutler, Senior Crown Prosecutor, Manitoba Justice

 

Peter Tonge practices law at the Phoenix Community Law Centre after completing his articles at Legal Aid Manitoba in 2006/07.

“I came to law later in life, having obtained a Masters in Science and spending 17 years working for Statistics Canada in Ottawa. I was doing lots of volunteering with poverty groups and felt strongly that I wanted to work for and on behalf of people who had no voice. I returned to school, attending the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. I worked at Legal Aid Manitoba’s University Centre in the summer of 2005 and found it an invaluable way to get lots of exposure - I was carrying a full case load, doing advocacy work and I was in the courtroom and negotiating settlements.

I love the work, it’s what I wanted to do and have been given the opportunity to do it. Legal Aid Manitoba offers a full, practical experience in articling - dealing directly with clients, working in the courtroom, learning the foundational skills to be a good lawyer.”

Judy Eagle articled at the Northlands Community Law Office, Legal Aid Manitoba, 2006/07

“What can I say about articling in northern Manitoba with Legal Aid?

How much hands-on work in your articling year experience do you want? Do you want to work with clients and their files directly with experienced counsel easily accessible for guidance? Do you want to gain many practical hours in the courtroom – provincial and Queen’s Bench – during your articling year, both with your own clients and assisting experienced counsel in your office? Even if your early interests after the grueling years in law school are not necessarily in the areas of criminal law, family law or the other fields that Legal Aid Manitoba offers, you need to know that these areas overlap often in other areas of law practice. If you can say ‘yes’ to any of these questions, I strongly recommend that you look into articling with Legal Aid Manitoba. I chose to do that in the northern part of this province, and I know that the choice has served me well. Before beginning my year, I had heard it said, and which I can now support, that one year of articling with Legal Aid may be equivalent to five years of experience elsewhere. It has been a good year.”

Daniel Rempel articled at the Public Interest Law Centre, 2006/07.

“Articling with Legal Aid Manitoba at the Public Interest Law Centre, I have had many opportunities that I couldn’t have had anywhere else. Because the office is not about maximizing your billings, you get to take on cases not because they pay the bills but because the client really needs your help. For example, I was able to help a single mother of four on social assistance to avoid eviction from her apartment in the middle of winter. Through the Drop-in Centre at Legal Aid you gain a lot of experience interviewing a wide variety of clients.

The work at the Public Interest Law Centre is probably unique in Canada. You get to work on really interesting legal issues involving human rights, aboriginal, environmental and consumer law, to name a few. And the work environment is excellent. Staff members are really friendly and talented.”

The Honourable Judge Fred Sandhu, Provincial Court of Manitoba; former Supervising Attorney, Criminal Law Office; former Articling Student, Legal Aid Manitoba, Brandon.

“I always wanted to work for Legal Aid, ever since law school, and enjoyed going to work every day. Legal Aid provides a life of service to the community. The people I met both professionally and as clients were most rewarding.”

Sandra Reizebos Bracken practices law at the Riel Community Law Centre after completing her articles at Legal Aid Manitoba in 2006/07.

“My goal was to work with Legal Aid or human rights all along, because I believe in social responsibility. I’ve learned a tremendous amount, in fact a student will learn more here than any other criminal firm because you get your own clients and can see the case through from the custody call, arrest and bail to guilty plea or trial. I make the decisions on my files, with guidance from supervisors, but it was at first a surprise to be thrown right into the work - as a result, I’m really able to think on my feet.

I handled about 25 files in my name but I also helped many more clients through duty counsel services in a number of different courtrooms. I was able to do bail court, both youth and adult, I’ve done some prison law, parole and detention hearings, and I was able to junior on a manslaughter trial. It is great experience, whether staying with Legal Aid or moving into private practice, I am much more marketable as a result of articling here.”

Allan Fineblit Q.C. is the CEO of The Law Society of Manitoba; former Executive Director of Legal Aid Manitoba; former Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Province of Manitoba.

“When I was first hired, Legal Aid Manitoba was still a very young organization - just four years old. The atmosphere was electric. The need seemed endless and the staff were on a mission to make the world a better and fairer place. For a young lawyer, there was no better place to be.”

The Honourable Madame Justice Léa Duval, Court of Queen's Bench.

“My involvement with Legal Aid Manitoba began as an articling student and later I returned as Staff Attorney for 10 years. My responsibilities as Duty Counsel for court sittings in isolated communities led to unusual experiences, such as interviewing young people and writing notes outdoors, on the hood of a car, flying in a float plane, helicopter, a small four-seater bush plane, being stranded for 2 1/2 days during a snowstorm and living at a nursing station, seeing polar bears in Churchill and more.

But the most rewarding part of Legal Aid work are the clients - those who have recently immigrated and do not speak either official language, those who cannot hear, those who are overwhelmed by bureaucracy, those who have suffered spousal abuse, those who inspire admiration for their courage and patience in the face of poverty, hardship and life’s challenges.”

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